I’ve talked about business, failure, challenge and destruction. I have spoken about supporting others and looking for support, being the person you want to find in the world but this is about keeping it pure. Being an artist is hard. I have said it before, it takes endurance. You will get mad, frustrated, hurt and shockingly insulted so why on earth make it harder on yourself trying to make art for the masses?
Creating art is about looking deep within yourself and being in the moment alone. You have teachers but the act of working your materials is a solo performance. We might feel as though we have a celestial guide, but we are still physically and mentally alone when we create. Bringing in other designers just muddies the moment. If you want to design for others, be a graphic designer. If you want to be an artist, create the art you want to create.
When you design for others, they choose. The colors, the composition, the subject, the style….. everything is their choice. When you design for a market, you are letting others dictate to you as well. Remember Heade? Let’s instead think about Cassatt. Mary Cassatt was an American Impressionist that was also part of the French Impressionist movement. The French may have loved her, but we get to claim her. She wanted to paint. She wanted to paint the way she saw the world. It took time and perseverance but, she became a success. She kept it pure. She could have painted salon paintings for the women who were friends of her mothers but no, she left school and went to Paris to study. I want to go Paris, don’t you? Let’s move over to Leonardo DaVinci, he spent how many years on his back? I find commission work so hard, at least I can do it sitting down.
You will find you work harder for the subjects that you want to paint the way you want to paint them. Therefore, the work in the end will always be better. If you want to try doing commission work, make sure it is something you want to paint. It will always turn out better.
Paint for yourself, Keep your art pure to yourself. You will find the best of yourself doing it. Purity takes hard work and it will be intimidating; like vowing to not lie at all for a month. Go easy on yourself and take breaks if you need to but, do it for yourself. People will follow, so will the sales. It just takes courage and time.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.